USA v Scotland Report

USA (1) 2 - Scotland (1) 1 (HT 1-1), Sun 26th May 1996, Att: 8,526

Friendly Match at Veterans Stadium, New Britain, Conneticut, USA

USA: Sommer (QPR), Burns (New England Revolution), Balboa (Colorado), Lalas (New England Revolution), Agoos (Washington DC United), Cobi Jones, Dooley, Reyna (Bayer Leverkusen), Ramos (New York Metrostars), Wynalda. Subs: Kirovsky (Manchester United) for Dooley (53), McBride for Reyna (82).
Scorers: Eric Wynalda (13, pen), Cobi Jones (72).

SCOTLAND: Leighton (Hibernian), Burley (Chelsea), Boyd (Celtic), Calderwood (Tottenham Hotspur), Hendry (Blackburn Rovers), Whyte (Middlesbrough), Gemmill (Nottingham Forest), Jackson (Hibernian), Jess (Coventry City), Durie (Rangers), Booth (Aberdeen). Subs: McAllister(Leeds United) for Gemmill (46 mins), Collins(Celtic) for Jackson (46 mins), Spencer (Chelsea) for Durie (46 mins), McCall (Rangers) for Burley (58 mins), Walker (Partick Thistle) for Leighton (80).
Scorer: Durie(9)

Referee: E.B. Carte(Mexico).

Match Report

Even Rod Stewarts invitation for the team to come to his concert in New Jersey on the Friday night failed to rouse the best out of the lads. A fairly lack lustre performance with the result probably the fair one at the end of the day. Both sides had several chances in what was quite a intense heat for the Scots to have to play in (at least judging by my sunburn after the match). Duries goal was pounced on from some fairly scrappy play and the penalty was a bit soft for the States. The Scots should really have had one later on. A number of other chances were missed by both sides throughout the match and of course Craig Brown insisted on pulling off Durie, the one guy that did seem to be making a difference to the side just after the break.

There was quite a number of Scots turned up with the US fans not being too much in the majority during the match. The initial euphoria at scoring soon turned into resignment as we realised that the USA are fast becoming a nation to watch out for in footballing terms with some very fast players and nice skillfull touches on the ball. The US choice of stadium must have been one of the worst. It is located in the sticks about 20 minutes outside Hartford and is certainly not the most accessible by car or by public transport ! Final mention to the USA fans 'Sams Army' who kept up a continued noise throughout most of the match in support of their team.

There follows a fairly objective view of the proceedings from John Maxwell in Canada.

I didn't think this game was quite as one-sided as I've heard others say. Both teams missed good chances, and Scotland gave away a soft penalty while being denied a stonewaller in the 53rd minute. Both teams played well below their abilities, with John Harkes the only outstanding player IMO. Another talented American player, Claudio Reyna, hardly seemed to be on the field.

But it is natural for Scotland fans to despair at this performance. Calderwood, Whyte (who gave away the penalty after being completely outfoxed by Ramos), and Spencer were, in a word, shite. And these 3 may be Brown's only options for Euro 96! On 65 minutes McCall sent Spencer down the right with a perfect first touch pass, only for Spencer to eventually take it over the goal line, when he had plenty of time to cut it back for Collins, who was in the box completely unmarked. Burley too, was crap for most of the game, despite what the press report I read said. He only made 2 decent passes in the whole game-one a chip forward for Jess (who then lobbed the keeper and unfortunately the bar also) and a pass down the right to Jackson which eventually led to the goal by Durie.

The only bright spot I can think of was Gemmill on the left who wasn't afraid to take a man on and beat him. In the opening minutes, he nutmegged a defender at the edge of the box but Sommer was just able to get to the ball first and smother it.

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